The coach of the Brazilian National Team, Adenor Leonardo Bacchi “Tite”, denied this Friday that Brazil is the favorite to prevail on Saturday in the final of the Copa América with Argentina in Rio de Janeiro and promised that the classic will be a great show for the quality of both combined.
“You just have to look at the history of the two teams to get an answer,” said the Brazilian coach at a press conference when he rejected the alleged Brazilian favoritism.
Tite recalled that Brazil and Argentina are the last two South American champions of a World Cup and that, without detracting from teams like Uruguay and Colombia, everyone knows the dimension of the most famous South American classic.
“In addition, we know of the greatness of two world football icons that will be in the final. To speak of Messi and Neymar is to speak of excellence, of technical, mental and physical virtues, and of a very high creative capacity. Consequently, we will have a great show, “he said.
The final of the Copa América will meet Brazil, host, current champion and top seed, and Argentina, which grew in its last matches guided by Lionel Messi, on Saturday at the Maracana Stadium. It will be the first final between the historic South American rivals since the Copa América Venezuela 2007, defeated by Brazil.
Tite admitted that he had warned that the Maracana court would not be in condition for a final but that he reviewed it this week and was able to verify that it is in perfect condition, so he corrected his initial observation and said that the state of the court will help to guarantee the promised great show.
The coach affirmed that he does not have the in-depth knowledge to say which team deserves more to win the Copa América title, if Brazil or Argentina, because he has not fully supported what the rival team did.
“I cannot prejudge and say that Brazil deserves more. I cannot make that comparison due to lack of knowledge. But it will be the 90 minutes of the final that will tell us who deserves it,” he said.
He also ruled out that the long fast of Argentina, which has not won a title for 28 years -the last was the Copa América played in Ecuador in 1993-, detracts from the rival.
“That is the past. Looking at the past does not serve as a reference. The two teams reached the final of the Copa América undefeated and have the best numbers in the competition. I do not see a greater meaning in that Argentina has not won titles for a long time “, He said.
Asked whether he will ask his players to mark Messi by zone or individually, Tite declined to answer.
“I know how to mark Messi, but I’m not going to say it. If Argentina tells us how they are going to mark Neymar, we will open the game and tell them how we are going to mark Messi,” he said.
As for full-back Alex Sandro, absent in recent games due to injury, Tite said that it would be irresponsible to line him up from the beginning of the game, but that he will be able to play if he is fit, although he clarified that his substitute, Renan Lodi, is doing a good job.